Manchester City’s quest for the quadruple may be over, but the domestic quadruple is still very much alive. The Blues crashed out of the Champions League last night as the VAR allowed a handled goal for Tottenham and disallowed the “winner” when Aguero was deemed to be offside.
We recently saw a goal against City allowed when a player’s arm was offside because “you can’t score with your arm”. Quite how that explains Boly’s “goal” against Wolves at the start of the season and Llorente’s effort last night, I’m unsure. We know that next season neither would be admissible, but it doesn’t help City now when a tale of two handballs could see them fall short in 2 major competitions.
Or will it be a tale of two penalties? We forget here that Aguero missed a penalty at Spurs new stadium last week and in the end that was the difference between the two teams after last night.
But in the end, if you have to point the finger on the night then it points directly at Aymeric Laporte. Son can not have had a goal served up quite as easily this season as he did when Laporte teed him up for the equaliser in a crazy 10 minutes when 4 goals were scored.
Moments later he was at it again when his race out of defence saw him push the ball too far forwards, get robbed by Eriksen who once again set up Son, who never seems to miss.
Raheem Sterling put City ahead in four minutes but after 10 the scoreline on the night read 2-2 after Bernardo restored order.
City then pushed forward with Sterling adding his second and then a fantastic motor-driven move involving Gundogan, De Bruyne and Aguero to put City ahead in the tie as a whole. And then the fun and games started.
With 7 minutes left a Spurs corners drifted towards Llorente, it went over Kompany and found Laporte static, but still, the big centre forward could only make contact via his arm, the ball finally going in off his thigh. City needed one more.
When it came it was another move of joy except that the early ball into Aguero found him a foot offside before he shipped it out for Sterling to drive home. The stadium went mental only for the Turkish referee Cakir to consult the VAR and rule it offside.
This put paid the City’s Champions League challenge for at least another year and in some circles, the knives were out for Guardiola. I suspect this was mainly from people who never attend the Etihad or at least not on Champions League nights.
The door is still open for City to with both the Premier League title and the FA Cup. Add those to the lesser lights of the Community Shield and the Carabao Cup and hey presto, we have a quadruple.
It is vital now that the Blues defeat Spurs again and then Stretford’s finest, while the Scousers are playing much lesser opposition in Cardiff and Huddersfield. Let’s hope so.